MAC (Motor Accident Commission), South Australian road safety messenger, shut in 2019

MAC (Motor Accident Commission) presented high-profile campaigns after it took on a road-safety marketing in 2007.

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC), South Australia’s leader in road safety behaviour change and education, was shut down by the state government in 2019.

The Liberal state government said this was  a “natural consequence” of the privatisation by the former Labor government of the Motor Accident Commission’s core function after compulsory third party insurance was transferred  to private companies from 2016.

The Motor Accident Commission had taken on handing residual compulsory third party claims as a state government entity in 1959.

In 2007, the Motor Accident Commission became responsible for road safety marketing campaigns. In that year 125 people were killed on South Australian roads. Ten years on, South Australia achieved a record low road toll of 86 deaths. The “10-year hangover” and “Creepers” were among the high-profile road-safety campaigns the MAC promoted against drug driving, drink driving, speed, fatigue, mobile phone distraction, regional drivers, young drivers and seatbelts.

It partnered with events such as the Santos Tour Down Under and Encounter Youth’s Schoolies Festival and became the naming rights sponsor for the MAC Footy Express service, providing free bus, train and tram travel to and from Adelaide Oval on Australian Football League game days. It also contributed to the state rescue helicopter service from the compulsory third party insurance fund.

The state government said it would move Motor Accident Commission road safety activities to the police and other government agencies such as the department of planning, transport and infrastructure and the office for recreation and sport. MAC’s funding of about $11 million for advertising, research, partnerships and sponsorships would be maintained, and all existing arrangements – including funding for the rescue helicopter – would be rolled over at existing levels to 2020.

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